GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Butterfly Watch / Butterfly Gardening
PLANTS FOR GOOD NECTAR SOURCES.
Now that we are approaching the end of April and summer will be here before we know, it’s that time of year when butterflies begin to visit our gardens to feed and help pollinate our plants. Matter of fact, I am seeing quite a few butterflies in the nursery enjoying all the blooming perennials and annuals right now. We often plant brightly-colored, nectar-rich plants to attract adult butterflies to our gardens, but it is important not to forget that their young need a safe place to feed as well.
Here is a list of just a few plant suggestions – you can say “Doug’s favorites” – to support our beautiful butterflies:
- Azaleas: Everyone loves azaleas, including our butterflies, and they are beautiful this time of year.
- Lilac: So pretty and fragrant with those lavender or white blooms. It’s nice that we now have dwarf varieties of lilac, like Miss Kim, and we have ones that will bloom more than one time.
- Buddleia: Or commonly called Butterfly bush. It should go without saying that a plant called “butterfly bush” attracts butterflies. What a sight to behold when they bloom.
- Viburnums: So many great varieties. One of my favorites is in bloom right now – the Double-file Viburnum with all its white blooms running down the entire length of every branch.
- Echinacea: Also known as Coneflowers – easy plant to grow and care for. I like them when planted in a mass. Coneflowers are a very hardy perennial that needs to be planted in full sun.
- Asclepias: Commonly referred to as Milkweed or Butterfly Weed. So popular in recent years because of its attraction of butterfly caterpillars and then the butterfly itself when the milkweed is in bloom. Asclepias is so popular that the Perennial Plant Association designated it as its plant of the year a couple of years ago.
- Monarda: Also known as Bee Balm. A beautiful, hardy perennial for full sun that will bloom in the summer.
- Nepeta: Also known as Catmint. When this plant is in bloom in the nursery it is impossible to count the number of butterflies that will be on one plant. It’s incredible.
- Zinnias: A nice annual that will bloom all summer long.
- Verbena: Again, a nice annual that comes in multiple colors that will bloom all summer long. One variety of Verbena is the Homestead Purple that is a hardy, perennial groundcover with dark purple flowers.
There are many more plants to consider planting: Alyssum, Candytuft, Cosmos, Impatiens Marigold, Asters, Phlox, Joe-Pye-Weed, Yarrow, and much more.
Come see us now because we have a great selection of blooming perennials and annuals that are great butterfly magnets.